“Receding Hairlines, Big Behinds, and the Virtues of Lying”


“Do you think my hairline is receding?”

I glanced up from my book, hoping my husband hadn’t detected any trace of the deer-in-the-headlights” look I was trying my best to contain. It wasn’t so much his pointed question that struck me like a thunderbolt, but rather the flash of enlightenment that rolled across me in the wake of the question that caused me a disorienting moment of bewilderment. Could it be? Had I just discovered the male counterpart to the burning question, “Does this outfit make my buttock look big?”

Regardless of the weight (forgive the pun) we women place on the potency of the optical illusions caused by stripes, plaids, and prints when applied to our backsides, the reality is that if one’s caboose looks big it probably is big, regardless of the fabric stretched over it. A flowing yard of black chiffon offers only a modicum more camouflage than a tight-fitting pair of Spandex workout pants with “juicy” printed across the cheek area. So the question is, what good does it do to point it out?

 Copyright © 2017 Patra Taylor

LAWTalk with Stephen Bucher “Settling Disputes”

A pair red boxing gloves hangs off ringIn the 1990s, I had one of my crazy ideas. I wanted to create legal advertising that looked more like public service announcements than a typical law firm commercial. And I wanted to weave an element of humor into the delivery of each legal message. I ran my idea past a few of my friends in the local television industry, but had no takers. One day I received a call from Byron J. Miller. At the time, Byron was an AE for FOX24 here in Charleston. When I told Byron my crazy idea, his response was, “Yes, we can.” (Byron could have had a future in politics.) LAWTalk was born.

Over the next 12 weeks, I had the privilege of working with some of the most creative and fun people I have ever met. I wrote scripts…the LAWTalk Team brought them to life, always improving on my original concept. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Stephen Bucher, my husband and star of the LAWTalk series, knows how to mug for the camera.

It is unfortunate that my copies of each of the 12 60-second spots we created were saved on VHS tape and stored in a dusty cupboard for far too long. My attempt to capture them to digital video has yielded marginal results. But here goes…I give you with great pride and gratitude to all those who made LAWTalk possible, “Settling Disputes.”


The Age Justification


Falling Red Balloons

There’s great news from across the pond.

A recent survey of 1,000 British adults suggests that middle age starts much later than previously thought–at age 55. Leave it to our tea-sipping, crumpet-crunching friends to prove that 40 really is the new 20. Phew! What a relief to know that I have barely crossed the starting line on this whole growing old thing.

I stopped by my husband’s office the other day to share the good news about our giant step back from the abyss, but rather than be given an opportunity to espouse the brilliance of the Brits, I was given some personal paperwork to fill out for him instead.

“Is there a problem?” he asked me at one point. I believe my finger drumming tipped him off that I was stumped.

“I’m just not sure how to answer one of these questions,” I finally admitted.

“So, what’s the question?”

“Well…” I hesitated, “the question is, ‘What is your date of birth?’”

“Patty, your date of birth is November 8, 19….”

“No, no, no, don’t say it,” I shrieked. “That’s what I came to tell you…that my biological age no longer represents my sociological age.” With Stephen, you have to throw in a few fancy words to keep him interested. “I’ve made the decision to shave a few years off my date of birth – not with the U.S. Social Security Administration, of course, as we both remember what a hubbub that caused when my sister, Linda, did it. I figure no one else really cares but now that I have an opportunity to do it, it just feels a little weird.”



LAWTalk with Stephen Bucher – “Dog Bite.”

This episode of LAWTalk stars Stephen Bucher as the fearless lawyer and Howie Futch (RIP) as the vicious beast. While Mr. Bucher’s performance is superb, Mr. Futch steals the show.




Beyond the bowties: A Mercury one-on-one with Tucker Carlson

A Charleston Mercury Exclusive


I recently had an opportunity to interview Tucker Carlson, the host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, a current affairs program that airs weekday nights on FOX News. Love him or hate him (there’s really no in between regarding this conservative commentator) I found Mr. Carlson engaging, passionate and articulate. I’m just glad I was the interviewer, not the interviewee. Read my feature on Tucker Carlson in the South’s favorite source for news, lifestyle and entertainment.

Tucker Carlson story


Aiding and Abetting Results in Acid Reflux

Woof, woof.

Woof, woof.

“Leonard is in the slammer.”

Not wanting to add any undue fuel to the emotional fire, I delivered the line in the sort of cool, detached tone one might use when saying, “Please pass the salt,” or “Not tonight, dear, I have a headache.”

Anticipating my eldest son’s frenzied response to my news bulletin, I held my cell phone away from my ear. “Where is he? How long has he been in? Who picked him up? When did you find out? Is he alright?” Beau blathered in one breathless streak. And then the highly predictable grand finale, “We’ve got to go get him out!”

Ah, yes, the imperial-use of the pronoun “we.” I myself prefer a more classic usage as in, “We have to kill that spider,” or “We need to take the trash out,” or “We better get the toilet plunger.” But I admired Beau’s mastery of the strategic placement of the pronoun, inserting it discreetly at the tail end of his frantic rant and cleverly cloaking it in the guise of a noble cause. But I knew and Beau knew that I would be doing the driving, I would be doing the fast-talking, I would be anteing up the cash, and he would be taking all the credit. “Come pick me up, and hurry.”

It had been many months since I had laid eyes on Leonard. Beau’s brothers seemed excited that circumstances were once again bringing him back into our lives, although I was suffering a bout of mix emotions. Regardless, I knew Leonard could not survive the riggers of “the system” through the upcoming weekend and time was running out to initiate a rescue. With just minutes to spare, I pulled into the parking lot of the ominous “facility.”

Once the paperwork was completed and the fines paid, inmate number 47377 was released into my custody. I was happy to learn that my husband’s legal services wouldn’t be required to resolve this ugly episode provided I exercised due diligence in getting Leonard’s rabies shot current.

 Copyright © 2017 Patra Taylor